Day 157 – About 60% of the world’s population needs some kind of corrective lenses. That ends up being a lot of eyeglasses and contacts being worn and eventually tossed. Thankfully, there are places to donate your eyewear and recycle your contacts.
The organization you donate to will inspect the glasses, determine the prescription, and clean the eyewear so it can be used again. Your old glasses will then get matched to someone who needs them — around the world or in your neighborhood.
- Lions Club International – They operate a network of collection boxes and Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers, where volunteers process donated glasses for distribution through medical missions around the world.
- New Eyes – A United Way agency, buys new glasses for people in need in the United States. It also accepts, processes and distributes gently used donated eyeglasses to people overseas. New Eyes accepts used prescription glasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses and children’s glasses in good to excellent condition.
- OneSight -An independent nonprofit that has helped more than 9 million people in 46 countries. They set up permanent vision centers and hold charitable clinics around the world. While OneSight dispenses only new eyewear to patients, they accept donations of used eyewear and send it to Lions Clubs International in support of their recycling programs.
- Eyes of Hope – Vision insurer VSP Global provides access to no-cost eye care and eyewear for more than 2 million people around the world. They accept donations of new and gently used eyewear.
You can recycle your contacts and their packaging through TerraCycle’s Free Recycling Program. Just type in your zip code and you will be given a list of participating eye care facilities that will take your used contact lenses and packaging.
You can drop off your old eyeglasses and used contacts at the Northcenter Neighborhood Association’s Recycle Popup. Eyeglasses will be donated to the Lions Club and contacts will be recycled through TerraCycle. Our next popup will be on Saturday, June 19th.
So, on this National Eyewear Day, consider passing on those old eyeglasses to someone in need and give them the gift of good eyesight.
Tomorrow, keeping our food safe, locally and globally.